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S. Stambler

A professor at Dodge College, I teach Film Music. I spent 33 years in the movie business before teaching. I LOVE books and my girls. Ta-Da!

LOS ANGELES | Member Since 2009

52
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 149 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
2

  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (4060)
    Performance
    (3545)
    Story
    (3514)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "You Will See Two Moons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Open any door to any Murakami novel, step inside, and your life will change. It's said that people read fiction to escape. At some point in the novel, an ironic epiphany occurs; you realize that you're imprisoned in the mystery of IQ84. Look up and see the two moons. Sit on the edge of Murakami's knitting needle while he threads his way through the rest of the story. What is real and what is fiction? I don't know how to escape from this novel, or Murakami's surreal thread. Perhaps another listen to Janacek's Sinfonietta? Listen. Drift into the world of IQ84. You won't be disappointed.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1469)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1328)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Deborah says: "Mesmerizing Performance"
    "Empathy for an extraordinarily fat man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I wouldn't write a review if I couldn't recommend this book. Maybe I like stories about fat characters. (John Kennedy Toole's Ignatius J. Reilly) With Audible's Return Policy, you really can't lose! The story feels real and its plot grows organically more complicated- the kind of complicated one savors. Someone else's neuroses while you, the reader, relax in a comforting bubble bath. (Or your car)I'm not a top reviewer, but when I review—I love or hate. This is love.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That the author could write about something so foreign, yet so touching.


    What about Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s performance did you like?

    fabulous. both.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    sure.


    Any additional comments?

    my 14 and 17 y/o girls loved it as much as I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (138)

    In a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment.

    S. Stambler says: "Superb On All Levels. Dog Lover? Purcahse Now!"
    "Superb On All Levels. Dog Lover? Purcahse Now!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not going to use the word "heartwarming" because that cliche does this book injustice. The experience of the novelist and his wife are lovely, well written, slyly humorous, and I haven't even gotten to "Trixie", their CCI dog. An amazing organization, that the author promotes. To say I have a Golden Retriever does make me ever-so-slightly biased, but I GUARANTEE if you're a lover of words, and DOGS you will extremely pleased with this audio book. Christopher Lane has the perfect reader's voice. (I am going to follow his other works, this was my first.) It was also the first Koontz book I have ever 'read'. Wow, that man can write! Who knew? (I guess about ten million other people.)

    I hope you enjoy A Big Little Life as much as I did. I've listened to many, many audio books. I GUARANTEE if you love dogs, you'll love this. And even if you don't (shame on you) it's well written, informative and worth it. 6 stars! please come back and rate my review after you've read this title. I wanna know how RIGHT I am! :) cheers scott s.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Conflict of Interest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2092)
    Performance
    (1699)
    Story
    (1716)

    Alex Miller is a criminal defense lawyer leading the life he always imagined. At thirty-five, he is the youngest partner at New York City's most prestigious law firm, with a beautiful wife and a perfect daughter. When Alex's father suddenly passes away, Alex is introduced to Michael Ohlig, a rich and powerful man who holds an almost mythical place in his family lore. But Alex is surprised when Ohlig admits that he's in serious legal trouble, accused of crimes involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Melinda says: "My 2 Cents"
    "You won't hate it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a long airplane ride, exchange for your time kind of story it's NOT BAD. However it's not great either. Entertaining, and some nice factual, legal material keep it from being a waste of time. The writing is OKAY. Not superb. The characters are believable. Not Memorable. The performance is fine. I'd like to rave about this book, but can't. It's okay. It will pass your time. You won't fall in love or hate with any of the characters. I read it because of the Alan Dershowitz "LOVED IT" But I have to wonder what the professor means by that word. Anyway. You won't HATE it, how's that?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Six Thousand

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Ellroy
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (66)

    In The Cold Six Thousand, James Ellroy's most ambitious and explosive novel yet, he puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.

    Snoodely says: "Plausible history"
    "wanted to love, but failed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ok. i stuck it out -- as everyone suggested. and never got hooked. One shouldn't have to work so hard to enjoy an audio book. the writing style is better suited for reading and not having it read. (That's about the strangest thing I've ever said about an audio book) The reason I wanted to love the book was Craig Wasson's performance on the last Stephen King 11-22-63- a must listen. Next, the material is interesting. and Ellroy is a WRITER. Judging by so many other reviews, it must be me. maybe you need more patience than I have. I could not get into this book. If you're on the edge, PASS.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Richard E. Grant
    • Narrated By Richard E. Grant
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Here are the very personal diaries of Richard E. Grant's debut behind the camera, as writer and director of his autobiographical movie of the same name.

    It is both a fascinating insight into the intrigues and agonies he encounters along the way, and also a deeply moving portrait of his childhood and his love affair with Swaziland, where he was born and brought up during the last throes of the British Empire.

    S. Stambler says: "Wonderful listen. Read by an actor's actor."
    "Wonderful listen. Read by an actor's actor."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    have always been a fan of Richard E Grant. superb actor, great stories. had i never heard of him, i would have thought i discovered buried treasure. first of all - everyone should see at least two of his films WITHNAIL AND I and HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING. then you can rest assured that your purchase of this audio book will be well worth it. Grant journals the story of how he made the Wah Wah diaries. He writes about everyone he's come across professionally and personally - and it's a wonderful account. he's dropping names because they are his contemporaries. you will not be disappointed. His Bob Altman stories from The Player and other Altman films are inspiring. If you work as a writer in this crazy town, and you're feeling a bit blue - this book's for you. If you're interested in the reality of raising money, casting, shooting - you can fake being a seasoned producer by the time you're done. It's a wonderful listen. Read by one of the great actors of our time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Lock Artist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Steve Hamilton
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (986)
    Performance
    (680)
    Story
    (691)

    Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now 18, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in 10 years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight hundred-pound safe...he can open them all. It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people.

    G. Sabin says: "A decent story, a little slow"
    "Thumbs Down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm bewildered at the positive reviews of this book. my guess is they are fake. they are too similiar in tone and word.

    The problem lies in the writing. I'm a little shocked that the adult dialogue is so stilted and predictable. There were a few pockets where the dialogue was so poorly written I almost stopped listening.. The story is interesting, but again, the writing is sort of a cheap hybrid of a bad attempt at Raymond Chandler set in modern day. Maybe the narration adds to my perception. When he does the adult voices, it's cringeworthy. As far as story goes, it's pretty good. Ok. I collected locks and keys as a kid, so this story appeals to me. The chapters bounce around in time, but are easy to follow - although toward the end that device gets a bit weary. I'm a little frustrated in writing this review, but if you have followed any of my reviews, or happened to love the same audio books - I'm positive you won't love this story.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (1329)
    Performance
    (690)
    Story
    (687)

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "Rupert Degas is dreadful. save your credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVE Murakami. (have read everything he's written) I love audio books. 1Q84 (audio book) was fantastic. This narrator took me out of the story three times. When he gets to any female character, Degas sounds like a straight man unintentionally imitating a drag queen. All the while you, the audience, are so distracted by his narration you're now texting while you drive. It's a shame Degas ruined such a wonderful book.

    Save your Credit.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17823)
    Performance
    (15849)
    Story
    (15805)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Stunningly crafted. Superbly read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Apologies for sounding like a book snob, but I was never a big fan of Stephen King... Until now - although I have always envied (ENVIED!) his story-tellng ability. Who is this writer who can spin such compelling stories time and again? Is he from planet earth? Has he made a Faustian deal with the story gods? Probably not. Probably he's honed his craft to what feels to me - the perfect novel, simply titled "11-22-63". When Stephen King writes "Life turns on a dime" he ain't kidding. Suspension of disbelief is a phrase meaning the reader is transported by the power of that story and never questions the reality of its words, compared to the reader's relative position in their own reality. In other words, King makes time travel real. He makes me wonder whether he's writing a story or writing the truth about his own secret 'rabbit hole'. Craig Wasson begs some mention. His 'performance', though I'm reticent to use that word, is the second ingredient to the pairing of this book and its words. I'll now look for other books read by Mr. Wasson. This book will keep the listener up way beyond their bed time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Embracing Defeat

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John W. Dower
    • Narrated By Edward Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    This illuminating study explores the ways in which the shattering defeat of the Japanese in World War II, followed by over six years of American military occupation, affected every level of Japanese society. The author describes the countless ways in which the Japanese met the challenge of "starting over", from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes, fears, and activities of ordinary men and women in every walk of life.

    Keith R. Finch says: "Pulitzer Prize Winner!"
    "Drier than a text book buried in 30 years of dust"
    Overall

    I know. It won the pulitzer or was nominated. I have a feeling this would read much better than audio format as I'd like to take Edward Lewis to bed every night to help me fall asleep. I bought this based on some glowing reviews. I haven't finished, but will try to do so... I just wanted to warn the potential buyer that their credit might be better spent. Perhaps this review is unfair, but I can't get past the sleepy narration. The subject fascinates me. I wanted to love this book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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